“Focusing on the best way of achieving your goals is the key to improving your productivity. Work smarter, not harder.” ~ Wiz4.biz
Productivity Topics: Pro-Crastination, Excellence vs Perfectionism, Prioritize, Organize, Delegate, Don’t Control, Breaks, Listening, Measure.
Every startup Founder feels the pressure of the thousands of things that need to get done, all seemingly at the same time. There is just not enough time. The real solution is better productivity and less pro-crastination, to put you back in control of your business. You need to spend time on important things, as well as the urgent.
Priorities. Many entrepreneurs waste too much time on low-priority tasks, and pro-crastinating on higher priority – but tougher tasks – resulting in last minute crises, and failure to complete the critical work that people are really expecting of them. We all know people who profess to be stressed out and “so busy” that they never have time for anything – yet they never seem to get things done.
- “Work Less, Do More”. Dr. Jan Yager, a recognized expert on the subject of Time Management, just released a new edition of her most popular book, “Work Less, Do More”. Among other things, she added 10 general productivity principles to give you a competitive edge, which I have adapted here for entrepreneurs:
- Understand & overcome Pro-Crastination. Fear of success and fear of failure are at the root of most acts of pro-crastination. Psychologists assert that pro-crastinators actually sabotage themselves. They put obstacles in their own path. They actually choose paths that hurt their productivity, and limit their success in business. Avoid these. Don’t even try to be an amateur-crastinator. LoL Wiz4.biz
- Aim for achieving Excellence, not wasting the extra time it takes to be a perfectionism. By definition, no human or any business is perfect, so achieving perfection is unrealistic and doomed to failure. The aim for excellence is admiral, but if persued to perfectionism, it becomes self-defeating and non-productive.
- Don’t try to do Everything, or you may ignore the really “important” things. Pareto’s law says you get 80% of your results from 20% of your efforts. Figure out what deserves your 20%, and focus on that. If you can, start each day with the highest priority task you need done that day, and leave the emails & phone calls till the end of the day, if you have time.
- Making the time to Organize yourself will leverage your available Time. One of the top productivity killers is dis-organization and wasting time trying to find something. Take the time to build a database of contacts, and structure your online filing system to include a total search capability. Hire an expert, if required, to automate repetitive tasks.
- Delegate Tasks, not Relationships. Delegation of tasks to others who can do the work faster or cheaper is a productivity multiplier. But maintain the communication relationship with all key associates. If you’re not talking to your key team members, customers, or suppliers, you don’t have the relationships needed to get feedback of the perception of your organization. For entrepreneurs, after have a great idea, success is all about “execution”. Success in execution is all about achieving more money, more customers, & more satisfaction, in the same or less amount of time = more profit, from more productivity.
- Control yourself, but don’t try to control others. The key problem you need to solve first is “distraction-itis.” This is the pain of the endless stream of Email, phone calls, & daily crises which prevent any really important accomplishments, like getting new customers. Being a good role model is productive, but trying to control others is totally useless. They have their own agenda. As much as possible, you should hire people that see your Vision and have a similar Work Ethic to yours.
- Breaking yourself will take you further than “non-stop” Working. Taking a break makes you more productive. It gets you temporarily away from your work – which clears your mind – then you’ll probably have a new idea on what will help. Plan “breaks” through-out your day: like scheduling lunch away from your desk (ie, with a friend or associate) going outside for a breath of fresh air mid-morning & mid-afternoon. I also take short breaks every 20-30 minutes (when I finish one item, chapter, section, etc) – Wiz4.biz – and it gives me new thoughts + re-energizes me !!!
- Use your Listening Skills to become more “efficient & effective”. Maximize your own productivity by listening to what your customers tell you they need, then giving it to them (if you can). Make time to plan high-level business strategy & objectives with your management team. Don’t waste time on nice-to-haves.
- Have clear Measures of your Productivity. Only if you can’t, should you not measure your results. You can’t manage any activity or run a business without knowing how your doing. An entrepreneur’s ultimate task is to define success in term of results desired (ie, number of customers, revenue, profit, etc). Without setting & measuring your Goals, there is no way to measure how well you are doing – compared to your expectations.
- Productivity is a “relative” Concept. [Not family or kin – Wiz4.biz] Perception by the Customer is the “reality” in business. You may have a product or service that isnt perfect, but if the Customer is happy with it, you’ve created the right perception. On Teams, the most productive team members are the ones who consistently over-deliver, even though they have promised less. Productivity is perceived “value per unit of time”, and therefore not related to actual time spent working, or working intensity. Quantifiable results should be measured & monitored to determine the Productivity. Then you can determine your “strong” & “weak” processes. Then you can apply more techniques of your “strong” processes and look for improvements to your “weak” processes.
Conclusion: If you find yourself working more, enjoying it less, and getting less done, it’s time for you to implement these new Principles for Productivity.
Comments: Do you know any other Productivity Principles?
from Examiner.com 28 Oct 12 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz